The Saccharomyces cerevisiae heterotrimeric checkpoint clamp consisting of the Rad17, Mec3, and Ddc1 subunits (Rad17/3/1, the 9-1-1 complex in humans) is an early response factor to DNA damage in a signal transduction pathway leading to the activation of the checkpoint system and eventually to cell cycle arrest. These subunits show structural similarities with the replication clamp PCNA and indeed, it was demonstrated in vitro that Rad17/3/1 could be loaded onto DNA by checkpoint specific clamp loader Rad24-RFC, analogous to the PCNA-RFC clamp-clamp loader system. We have studied the interactions between the checkpoint clamp subunits and the activity of partial clamp complexes. We find that none of the possible partial complexes makes up a clamp that can be loaded onto DNA by Rad24-RFC. In agreement, overexpression of DDC1 or RAD17 in a MEC3Δ strain, or of MEC3 or RAD17 in a DDC1Δ strain shows no rescue of damage sensitivity.
- Clamp loader
- DNA damage